Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship

#2 Anders Sørensen

Anders Sørensen holds a MSc degree in economics from Aarhus University (1993) and a PhD from Copenhagen Business School (1997). During his doctoral studies he was visiting graduate student at University of California, Berkeley. He is Professor of Empirical Economics at the Department of Economics, CBS, and co-director of CBS’Human Capital, Organization design, and performance (HOPE) research environment. Previously, he was Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University (USA) and director of CBS’ Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) . He was a member of the Danish Productivity Commission. His main research interest is in productivity, human capital, and innovation as well as empirical economics. Sørensen has published his research in journals such as American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Growth, and Small Business Economics and has been at CBS since 2004.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Professor
Tel: +45 38153493
E-mail: as.eco@cbs.dk
Department of Economics
 
What is your understanding of entrepreneurship? An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages the starting-up of a firm. Thereby, an entrepreneur identifies an opportunity, develops a business plan, starts the firm, and manages the business. Hopefully, the entrepreneur earns profits.
What characterises an entrepreneur as an individual? 
To be successful, entrepreneurs need both theoretical skills obtained through schooling and practical skills acquired through wagework. In other words, formal schooling and wagework experience are complementary types of human capital for entrepreneurs.
 
 What does this mean for university education, or education more generally?
This idea that entrepreneurs require two types of skills to be successful is related to Lazear’s “Jacks-of-all-Trades” theory. He argues that entrepreneurs should be generalists whereas wageworkers should be specialists. Consistent with his theory, Lazear finds that for a group of Stanford MBAs the probability of becoming an entrepreneur increases with a more field-dispersed set of courses in the MBA program. Hence, large variation in the curriculum is important for prospect entrepreneurs.
 
What is the role and function of entrepreneurship for private companies and for
the public sector?

Entrepreneurship may have an important effect on incumbent firms. Entrepreneurs are often considered to have an important role as an engine for growth and prosperity. In the words of Schumpeter, entrepreneurs create combinations of inputs and outputs. They pioneer new activities, exploit new market opportunities and allocate labour to its most productive use. If this is the case, entrepreneurs will influence the conditions for incumbent firms.
However, entrepreneurship is not always found to be good business for those who are involved in entrepreneurial projects. Earlier research surveyed by van Praag and Versloot (2007) indicates that jobs created by entrepreneurs are unsecure and relatively low-paid. And, in contrast to the impression created by famous high-tech start-ups, van Praag and Versloot (2007) conclude that employees in start-ups often have shorter education lengths than employees in other firms and that productivity levels in entrepreneurial start-ups are not different from or even lower than in established firms.
For the public sector entrepreneurs may be of importance if they are able to drive innovations that can make the public sector more effective.
In what sense is entrepreneurship important for society
Entrepreneurs are generally considered as being of key importance for generating new jobs and economic Growth.
To whom do you pass on the baton?
Ulrich Kaiser

 

The page was last edited by: Entrepreneurship Platform // 03/27/2015